The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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{ } 83 { } 83 Region and Country: Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, USA Wine: Talbott 2014 Pinot Noir, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard (SRP $50) Panelist: Winemaker David Coventry Ask David Coventry anything about Monterey County and he'll give you the long form if you wish. A Monterey native, Coventry's plus-sized personality is ideal for getting the word out about this iconic vineyard site that helped put Monterey County and the Santa Lucia Highlands on the map. Robb Talbott established one of the Central Coast's most esteemed estate programs, featuring two of Monterey County's grand cru sites: Diamond T Estate and the legendary Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Just 13 miles from Monterey Bay, the vineyard is set on an expansive bench - land featuring sand, gravel and granite soils. Its long growing season and cool, fog-induced climate adds depth and a voluptuous character to the wines. Using a great diversity of clonal mate - rial, Coventry crafts wines with Old World acidity and New World ripe- ness. "We tease the terroir out of the wines," he commented. This wine exhibits a meatiness, with deep, dark espresso and cherry on the nose. Lushly textured with a mouth- watering quality, along with sweet tobacco and a salted cherry finish. Region and Country: Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California, USA Wine: Domaine Anderson 2013 Pinot Noir, Dach Vineyard (SRP $65) Panelist: Jennie Dallery, Domaine Anderson In 1982, Jean-Claude Rouzaud, Chairman of Louis Roederer and the largest private/family landowner in Champagne, announcedthat he had cho - sen Anderson Valley for Roederer Estate, the American label of the famed house. Humble Mendocino was thought to be a huge risk at the time, but with its Roederer pedigree, Roederer Estate turned out to be a top sparkling wine from California. Domaine Anderson, Roederer's move into California still wine production, has wonderful potential for Pinot Noir. The marine layer from the Mendocino coast is the big influence, bringing a 50-degree change in temperature from day to night. It's one of the chilliest grape-growing areas in California. In 2009, Gregory Balogh, President of U.S. Operations for Roederer, saw that property was avail - able, and the company set its sights on growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in this mountainous terrain, where 30 per - cent of the estate is reserved for wildlife. The Dach Vineyard surrounds the win- ery and tasting room; planted to a mix of heritage Pinot Noir clones, it is farmed using organic and biodynamic methods. This wine, fermented using natural yeast, is aged 16 months in French oak, 25% new. It has an intense and rich flavor pro - file with black cherry, savory mushroom and lavender on the finish. Talbott Vineyards Winemaker David Coventry.

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